Showing posts with label I bow to you. Show all posts
Showing posts with label I bow to you. Show all posts

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Namasté, all this is that readers! I bow to you.

When I wrote a long compendium of gestures and signs last year, many of them were pejorative or downright vulgar. The finger, the wanker, the cuckoo sign, the choke sign, rock horns, the shaka sign, and many more did not include such a beautiful and sweet sign as Namasté. It is pronounced, I think, Nahmus Tay.

Namasté in both word and gesture denotes deep respect and is used in Nepal and India by Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists. Many emigrants still use the words and gesture, wherever they end up. And why shouldn't they? What a sweet thought, and gesture.

In Indian and Nepali culture, the word is spoken at the beginning of written or verbal communication. However, the same hands folded gesture is made wordlessly upon departure. The word comes from the Sanskrit (namas): to bow, and (te): "to you."

When spoken to another person, it is commonly accompanied by a slight bow made with hands pressed together, palms touching and fingers pointed upwards, in front of the chest. The gesture alone has the same meaning. I guess if you say it as well, you're giving them a double dose.

You have to admit this sure beats the averted eyes walking down the hall in your Office Space or CubeLand, or the quick nod, a microsecond pupil lock-on and the word "hey." Give someone a Namasté today!